Coastal evacuations by fish during extreme weather events

An increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme events is predicted to occur as a result of climate change. In coastal ecosystems, hurricanes and flooding can cause dramatic changes in water quality resulting in large mortality events in estuarine fauna. Facultative migration behaviors represent a key adaptation by which animals can evacuate ecological catastrophes, but remain poorly studied in marine systems. Here we identify coastal evacuations by otherwise resident riverine striped bass in the Hudson River Estuary, New York, USA, caused by an intense period of tropical storms in autumn 2011.

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